Smooth start to school year

Smooth start to school year

School is back and students and staff alike are loving it.

Principal at Toorloo Arm Primary School, Kerry Hughes, is pleased with the smooth start to 2020.

“We have 167 students enrolled into eight grades, with 20 new preps,” she said.

It was a smoky day when the Lakes Post visited last week and children were staying indoors. Ms Hughes said the school monitors this and a decision is made on the conditions.

The school has welcomed new staff members Helen Macdonnell, whose mother was a teacher at Toorloo for many years, into the grade one/two room; Eliza Cunningham, grade three/four; Jane Lloyd; Glenys Downe, grade five/six and Tom Stubbs, educational support.

Lakes Entrance Primary School has also reported a calm start to the year and has jumped right into the role of teaching and learning.

“I think the students are enjoying getting back into routine and structure and we are supporting families where needed,” principal, Simon Prior, said.

“There are 220 students enrolled and we are continuing to grow.

“We have three new teachers joining the team and two support staff. This is the largest staffing profile in 10 years.”

Mr Prior feels the school is heading in a positive direction.

St Brendan’s Primary School has also had a successful start to the year with 32 new students starting foundation.

“I think everyone has been ready to get back into a routine and we are feeling really organised this year,” principal, Matthew Hamer said.

“The first day being 39 degrees and the worst day for smoke probably wasn’t ideal, but the students were great and stayed inside.

“This will be a year of meeting the needs of the community.”

Mr Hamer has been impressed that Dunsborough’s Our Lady of the Cape and Our Lady of the Sea in Melbourne have both been in touch to help lift the spirits of the students, after a long bushfire season.

“Both schools indicated they are fundraising to buy vouchers from entertainment businesses around Lakes Entrance and donate them to St Brendan’s,” Mr Hamer said.

“They understand that our students didn’t have a normal Christmas holiday, they want our school to be able to take students out for a fun excursion at the cinema, mini golf, etc.”

Mr Hamer also reported this year’s annual fete will be giving back to the community.

“This year we are going to purchase items from local businesses for raffles, instead of asking for donations. Also funds raised from the fete will be donated back to the community in some form to be decided upon,” he said.

Anyone driving past St Brendan’s Primary School would have noticed the major building project underway.

There will be nine new classrooms with flexible, contemporary learning spaces.

“The construction is running to schedule and by the start of term four every classroom at the school will be new,” Mr Hamer said.

“We have a double stream of straight grades, which means our class sizes are no larger than 15 to 20 children. “Staff energy levels are high as we see the building going up on time.”

IMAGE: Toorloo Arm grade 5/6 teacher, Aly Mackey, with Tairei Tunnage and Makennah Brindley on the first day of school for 2020 last week. All local schools are reporting positive starts to the year, despite the recent bushfire threat. K107-4384